If you are involved in a family dispute or court case, if you just want legal advice about your rights or you want to protect your interests before getting married, our specialist team at Avadis and Co will provide legal advice that is tailored to your specific needs.
Our team of family law solicitors acknowledge the stress and worry that a family dispute can often cause. Our solicitors are approachable, sympathetic and easily contactable but most importantly have a commercial, practical and realistic attitude.
Family disputes can often be resolved with Alternative Dispute Resolution such as collaborative law or mediation. When this is not possible our team that includes specialists in all aspects of family law are here to help.
DIVORCE, DISSOLUTION OF CIVIL PARTNERSHIPS AND JUDICIAL SEPARATION
If you have decided that it is time to end your marriage, or if your spouse has made that decision and started divorce proceedings, we have experienced divorce solicitors who can provide you with the cost effective and sensitive advice you need.
The breakdown of a marriage can be a difficult and painful experience and often there is more than just the separation to deal with, there are often children involved and finances to consider.
Our family law solicitors will assist you to resolve financial disputes, advising you through every stage whether agreement has been reached or there are substantial disputes.
Negotiating a financial settlement in divorce is a skilled and complex task. In the event proceedings are issued, it will involve full financial disclosure from both parties, to each other and to the court. It is important to assess not only the immediate short-term impact a separation will have on all parties, but also consider the longer term future needs of spouses and any children.
You may live with your partner without having married. Unfortunately this means you are not afforded with the automatic rights and protections that married couples are. The marriage rate in the UK is declining which in turn increases the number of unmarried, but cohabiting couples.
Our family law team can assist in drafting Cohabitation Agreements setting out a cohabitee’s interest to protect their rights in the event of separation or death.
ARRANGEMENTS FOR CHILDREN
Children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of divorce and separation. Our family law solicitors encourage parents to agree either through negotiation or mediation arrangements that are child focused and practical for all those concerned. In the event this is not achievable the Courts assistance may be required, a child’s welfare remains the Courts paramount concern.
Prior to making an application to Court, parents or carers are required to attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (a MIAM). This is a meeting at which the parties will be provided with information about mediation, as well as ways in which the dispute can be resolved without the intervention of the court. MIAMs are carried out by authorised family mediators.
Our offices are located just 25 minutes away from The Central Family Court and The Royal Court of Justice which means our solicitors can deal with matters urgently to ensure immediate protection of a child’s welfare.
CARE PROCEEDINGS – CHILD PROTECTION
Our specialist family solicitors represent parents, children, grandparents and extended family members in care proceedings. Our team will also offer advice to family members when social services are involved and considering whether a child should be the subject of a Child Protection Plan. A Child Protection Conference will be arranged to decide whether this is necessary and parents are entitled to legal representation at the conference.
We also provide advice to parents and family members on seeking contact with children in care. We frequently advise on Special Guardianship Orders, which can provide children with a long term placement with family members or other adult carers, as opposed to being adopted.
Mr Avadis, head of our family law team is a member of the Law Society’s Children Panel. He therefore provides specialist legal advice. Mr Avadis has over 30 years of experience in family law and regularly represents children and parents in public law care proceedings and private law children proceedings.
Almost all parents who are involved in care proceedings automatically qualify for legal aid.
CHILD ABDUCTION AND REMOVAL
Our family law solicitors have great experience in representing parents whose children have been removed without consent or parents who have removed their children from the jurisdiction.
If parents believe there is a serious risk of abduction there are emergency applications that can be made to the Court to protect the child and prevent removal. We can also assist you in alerting the police so that details of your child can be circulated to the relevant authorities such as all ports and border agents which will in turn reduce the risk of abduction.
If your child has been taken to an EU country which subscribes to the Hague Convention or the European Convention, an application can be made to that country for your child to be returned.
If your child has been taken to a country that does not subscribe to these international agreements, we can assist you making your child a Ward of Court and obtaining advice on the laws in the country where your child has been taken to and how to make an application in that country for your child’s return.
We also have a great deal of success in representing parents who either face applications to remove children from the jurisdiction or who wish to make such an application.
Our family law solicitors have working relationships with local translators to assist with any language barriers.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE – NON MOLESTATION ORDERS AND OCCUPATION ORDERS
Sexual, verbal, psychological and physical abuse are all forms of domestic abuse that with help from our specialist family law solicitors you do not have to endure.
There are emergency orders that can be applied for to protect you, a non-molestation order and/or occupation order. It is important to act quickly in these cases and our specialist team will where appropriate make an application to Court within 24 hours without informing the perpetrator to ensure you (and your children) are protected.
To be eligible for legal aid you must be in receipt of benefits or on a low income and able to give one of our family law solicitor’s evidence that you have been a victim of domestic violence. We will advise you as to what kind of evidence is required.
LEGAL RIGHTS FOR GRANDPARENTS
When parents relationships break down, grandparents may lose contact with their grandchildren but courts are increasingly recognising the vital role grandparents can often play in children’s lives.
Our family law solicitors encourage parents to agree either through negotiation or mediation arrangements that are child focused and practical for all those concerned. In the event this is not achievable the Courts assistance may be required, a child’s welfare remains the Courts paramount concern. If a child has a close relationship with their grandparents, and it is in their best interests, the Court will ensure their relationship is maintained.
The Resolution Code of Conduct
We are proud to be members of Resolution.
Membership of Resolution commits family lawyers to resolving disputes in a non-confrontational way. We believe that family law disputes should be dealt with in a constructive way designed to preserve people’s dignity and to encourage agreements.
Members of Resolution are required to:
- Conduct matters in a constructive and non-confrontational way
- Avoid use of inflammatory language both written and spoken
- Retain professional objectivity and respect for everyone involved
- Take into account the long term consequences of actions and communications as well as the short term implications
- Encourage clients to put the best interests of the children first
- Emphasise to clients the importance of being open and honest in all dealings
- Make clients aware of the benefits of behaving in a civilised way
- Keep financial and children issues separate
- Ensure that consideration is given to balancing the benefits of any steps against the likely costs – financial or emotional
- Inform clients of the options e.g. counselling, family therapy, round table negotiations, mediation, collaborative law and court proceedings
- Abide by the Resolution Guides to Good Practice
To find out more about Resolution click here.